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Up in the air
June 23, 2010 4:37 AM   Subscribe


 
Okay, that's an acceptable way to be spending summer vacation. Nice work.
posted by Mooski at 4:44 AM on June 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


It would be nice of that kid to add an S-band radar reflector so aircraft might see it. A corner reflector would be simple to add, lightweight, and would make it a visible hazard.
posted by three blind mice at 5:05 AM on June 23, 2010


"Colin Rich 12 days ago

The FAA was notified prior to the launch and given a trajectory based on the atmospheric conditions of the day. There is a whole process I did to make it plane friendly. Radar reflector, bright colors, GPS positioning that was relayed...I tried to be as safe as possible."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:07 AM on June 23, 2010


Really cool. I'm curious what authorization he needed to get (or should have gotten). Also, how did he find the camera after it parachuted back down?
posted by jpdoane at 5:08 AM on June 23, 2010


I'm a bit unclear on how he knew where it landed and how to find it.
posted by vacapinta at 5:08 AM on June 23, 2010


thanks crash - should have previewed
posted by jpdoane at 5:09 AM on June 23, 2010


I had a look at the comments below his video and he's answering gps etc questions there - i think he said that he had 2 gps in the box each with their own power supply.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:14 AM on June 23, 2010




Ok, that's it for the gps-equipped, weather balloon, picture taking bullshit. It has now "been done". Time is calling for an evolutionary step. I will not watch another one of these videos until a human gets up in one and goes to 25,000m. Preferably a student from a local college whose presence in the food chain can easily be replaced.

Oh, and June 23rd, 2010 marks the day I returned exclusively to the metric system.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:25 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


The FAA was notified prior to the launch and given a trajectory based on the atmospheric conditions of the day. There is a whole process I did to make it plane friendly. Radar reflector, bright colors, GPS positioning that was relayed...I tried to be as safe as possible.

Groovy. I have to give him credit.
posted by three blind mice at 5:27 AM on June 23, 2010


Oh, and June 23rd, 2010 marks the day I returned exclusively to the metric system.

Metric dates, Please -- 23 June 2010.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:38 AM on June 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's amazing how the simplest of ideas can turn into such beautiful projects.
posted by xingcat at 5:39 AM on June 23, 2010


Neat how it traveled about the same distance laterally as it did vertically.
posted by orme at 6:02 AM on June 23, 2010


Metric dates, please: 2010-06-23
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 6:10 AM on June 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


I want to see one that glides back to preprogrammed GPS coordinates. Launch the balloon, go have lunch, walk back outside, and here comes your glider back from the edge of space.
posted by pracowity at 6:13 AM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the first riff a part of my brain started chanting "no way, get fucked, fuck off"
posted by onya at 6:17 AM on June 23, 2010


Really cool. I'm curious what authorization he needed to get (or should have gotten).

I'm guessing it's similar to this authorization for model rockets. 14 CFR Part 101 covers balloons and rockets.

In a nutshell, the National Airspace System is split up into a bunch of different classes. Class G is totally unregulated, and generally includes everything under 1200 feet Above Ground Level (or 700 feet in certain areas) and surface to 18,000 feet in more rural areas. The balloon could be flown anywhere in this region. The other areas listed in the FAR are all "controlled" airspace to some extent, and because of the increased traffic density the FAA restricts flying balloons and rockets in and below these areas (without a waiver).

Part 101 also includes the information you need to give ATC before you launch, and it looks like this is required no matter where you fly the balloon.

I'm always pretty impressed when I read the FARs - it's obvious that the FAA really wants to be able to accommodate as many operations in the airspace as possible, and they just want everyone to do so in a safe manner. Sometimes it's hard to imagine why they get such a bad reputation.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:50 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


What, there wasn't even a little boy in it?
posted by anazgnos at 6:55 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Video is mindblowingly awesome. This is a fantastic project.

But I really came here for

"What, there wasn't even a little boy in it?"

Leaving doubly satisfied.
posted by yiftach at 7:03 AM on June 23, 2010


Awesome!
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:08 AM on June 23, 2010


I will volunteer. I would love to go to the edge of space.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:31 AM on June 23, 2010


pracowity - Here you go: GPS equipped glider automatically flies to pre-set coordinates.
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:37 AM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Something about this makes me slightly misty. Probably the editing--delusions of grandeur never seemed so poignant.

Can anyone identify the song?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:02 AM on June 23, 2010


If you ever are in Oxnard try the strawberries.
posted by Iron Rat at 8:21 AM on June 23, 2010


It's amazing how the simplest of ideas can turn into such beautiful projects.
posted by xingcat at 5:39 AM on June 23 [+] [!]


Kind of reminded me of John & Yoko's great film Apotheosis.
posted by newmoistness at 8:22 AM on June 23, 2010


Potomac Avenue wrote: "Can anyone identify the song?"

It's "A Song I Never Want To Hear Again" by "Some Asshole"

Either that or "Totally Inappropriate For This Video" by "Bad Taste"

:p
posted by wierdo at 8:24 AM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


GPS (APRS) transmitters from Big Red Bee. Not sure if this is the brand he used but these would do the job.

I'm in a rocketry group where members routinely launch to 30,000 feet. We launch from land we own in central Oregon; we've been using this site for 10 years. We annually submit an application to the FAA for a waiver of the rules in Part 101 on the selected weekends. The FAA takes a couple of months to grant our waiver; we get a piece of paper saying we can launch to a certain altitude on the weekends we've applied for. Our location is in a military air space so we coordinate with the Air National Guard units that train there.

We have to call the FAA regional center and the two Air Guard units 2 days before our rocketry weekends and each event day morning and evening. Also have to call the regional NOTAM office 2 days before. We've been doing this long enough, and there are other rocketry groups in the NW, that these agencies are accustomed to these requests and everything works pretty smoothly.
posted by neuron at 8:25 AM on June 23, 2010


Loved the photos, will have to try and get me a weather balloon and try doing the same but I'm sure UK airspace won't be too happy about it.
posted by luckylarry at 9:04 AM on June 23, 2010


Can anyone identify the song?

It's Am I Ever Gonna Your Face Again by The Angels.
posted by onya at 9:25 AM on June 23, 2010


It would be nice of that kid to add an S-band radar reflector so aircraft might see it.

A nice thought, but civilian aircraft don't use their radar to detect other aircraft. It might show up on air traffic control radar, but then only as a "primary target" without altitude information, and ATC would be less likely to point it out to planes in the area.

The way to go would be to have a transponder, like this guy with his crazy cluster balloon contraption.
posted by exogenous at 9:44 AM on June 23, 2010


Note the clouds that run along one side of many of the pics.
posted by Xoebe at 9:48 AM on June 23, 2010


Under 14 CFR 101.1 (linked above by backseatpilot), it appears that with his 1240 gram payload he did not have to worry about the regulations.
posted by exogenous at 9:53 AM on June 23, 2010


Seems like his math is a bit off. 10,000' = 10.97 miles?
posted by sanka at 9:54 AM on June 23, 2010


At work so I can't access links, but I am curious if he recorded temperatures at various altitudes.
posted by punkfloyd at 11:51 AM on June 23, 2010


One more thing. I live near DFW airport and was astonished to see some model rocketry hobbyists launching rockets RIGHT INTO THE FRIGGIN LANDING PATH of planes approaching from the northwest (about 4-5 linear miles from the runway). That can't be right, can it? These were not young hoodlums or 'terrists, but adults who looked like they would know better. I actually thought about calling DFW or the FAA.
posted by punkfloyd at 11:57 AM on June 23, 2010


I am really, really not tired of this.

I could watch one of these videos a week for the next year and maybe, maybe I'd start to get tired of it.

Instead, I really like it every time.
posted by poe at 12:32 PM on June 23, 2010


Thanks for posting this. I got a tear in my eye seeing the curve of the Earth.
posted by d1rge at 3:02 PM on June 23, 2010


It's Am I Ever Gonna Your Face Again by The Angels.

Are you ever gonna what my face again?

...accidentally the WHOLE bottle...
posted by speedo at 8:18 PM on June 23, 2010


Now imagine going up in a balloon that high and jumping off it.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:31 PM on June 23, 2010


Now imagine going up in a balloon that high and jumping off it.

See, I can't look at pictures like that. My palms immediately (within a second or two) started to sweat when I imagined all of that nothing beneath me. Physically I'm sitting at a desk on solid ground, but mentally I'm miles above the earth and falling...
posted by pracowity at 3:20 AM on June 24, 2010


It takes 1 box top
2 bottle bottoms
3 paper wrapers
and 1, thin, dime.
posted by Goofyy at 4:17 AM on June 24, 2010


pracowity: You probably shouldn't watch this.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:47 PM on June 25, 2010


Oh, dear.
posted by pracowity at 8:21 AM on June 26, 2010


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